HARVEY — The Ojibwa Casino outside of Harvey opened their doors for a soft opening today, after years of preparation for a new state–of–the–art facility.

The new casino, which is situated right next to the old one, features slot machines and card tables that one is accustomed to seeing at a casino, plus much more.

A café with a unique menu, a entertainment center that seats 1,200 people, a gift shop, along with a renewed rewards program, a bar and lounge, plus another planned restaurant in the works are all highlights of the new facility.

Currently, the plan is to build a hotel in phase 2 of the project, to make one wholly unique entertainment experience.

“The way I like to sum it up is right now we’re building all of the pieces to what I like to call an entertainment destination resort,” said Jim Orr, Director of Marketing for Ojibwa Casinos. “Everyone can have a casino, you can have a restaurant in it, but we wanted to have, when phase 2 is complete, an entertainment resort destination.”

However, this casino doesn’t just benefit members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Like the president of the KBIC explains, much of the casino is about reciprocity and giving back to the community.

“Some of the money that goes back to the community is 2% funds, so the amount of money that we generate here, we take that, multiply it by 2%, and that 2% goes to local municipal governments for their specific projects,” said Chris Swartz, President of the KBIC. “And so we’re able to provide the local community with some extra money because every community can use some extra money and we’re glad to do our part to support the local communities with that 2% money.”

The soft opening celebration continues tonight, with a live band playing into the night.